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canter

canter a pace of a horse between a trot and a gallop, with not less than one foot on the ground at any time. The word is recorded from the early 18th century (as a verb), and is short for Canterbury pace or Canterbury gallop (see Canterbury).
at a canter without much effort, easily. A horse-racing metaphor, implying that the horse has to make so little effort that it can win at the easy pace of a canter rather than having to gallop.

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canter

can·ter / ˈkantər/ • n. [in sing.] a three-beat gait of a horse or other quadruped between a trot and a gallop: I rode away at a canter. ∎  a ride on a horse at such a speed. • v. [intr.] (of a horse) move at a canter in a particular direction: they cantered down into the village. ∎  [tr.] make (a horse) move at a canter.

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canter

canter XVIII. Short for Canterbury gallop, pace, trot (XVII), a pace such as mounted pilgrims to Canterbury were supposed to have ridden.
Hence as vb. XVIII.

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canter

canterattar, batter, bespatter, chatter, clatter, flatter, hatter, Kenyatta, latter, matamata, matter, natter, patter, platter, ratter, regatta, satyr, scatter, shatter, smatter, spatter, splatter, yatter •abstractor, actor, attractor, compactor, contractor, enactor, exactor, extractor, factor, infractor, protractor, redactor, refractor, tractor, transactor •Atlanta, banter, canter, infanta, levanter, manta, ranter, Santa, tam-o'-shanter •adaptor, captor, chapter, raptor •Antofagasta, aster, Astor, canasta, Jocasta, oleaster, pasta, piastre (US piaster), pilaster, poetaster, Rasta, Zoroasterdragster, gagster •Baxter • prankster • hamster •gangsta, gangster •malefactor • benefactor •pitter-patter • subcontractor •chiropractor

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